Senate panel agrees on six proposed constitutional amendments


LITTLE ROCK — A Senate committee on Tuesday endorsed six proposed constitutional amendments for further consideration by the Legislature for the 2014 general election ballot.

Originally, 18 proposed Senate joint resolutions were filed and sponsors presented them to the Senate State Agencies and Governmental Affairs Committee.

The committee voted Tuesday on which proposals it wanted to send to a joint meeting with the House State Agencies and Governmental Affairs Committee. The House committee has yet to recommend which proposals out of 19 filed will be considered by the joint committee.

The six chosen, without discussion, by the Senate panel were:

• SJR 1 by Sen. Bryan King, R-Green Forest, which would allow Arkansas voters to change the state constitution to require voters have ID when they cast their ballots.

Senate Bill 2 by King, which also would require voters to have IDs when they vote, has been approved by both the House and Senate and was vetoed Monday by Gov. Mike Beebe. King said Tuesday he plans to ask the Senate to over ride the governor’s veto on Wednesday.

• SJR 3 by Sen. David Burnett, D-Osceola, which would amend Amendment 35 to the state constitution to require Arkansas Game and Fish Commissioners be elected.

• SJR 5 by Sen. Eddie Joe Williams, R-Cabot, which would give the General Assembly authority to pass laws regulating damages that may be awarded by courts.

• SJR 8 by King, which would create a nine-member Arkansas Apportionment Commission responsible for redrawing legislative district lines every 10 years. Three members would be appointed by the governor, three by the attorney general and three by the secretary of state.

• SJR 11 by King which would amend the constitution to require any election fraud allegations be sent to a special judge and prosecutor.

• SJR 13 by Sen. David Johnson, D-Little Rock, which would expand the time that county clerks have to check local petitions and prepare them for the ballot from 60 to 90 days to no less than 95 days and no more than 120 days.